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Thread: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    Nuts and Bolts from the Digital Journlist July 2008.

    "And, since we are on a negative note, let me say how sad I am that this digital rangefinder is so expensive that many young photojournalists will never get to play with the kind of camera that Cartier-Bresson, Gene Smith and a host of other heroes got to play with."

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Senior Member Arne Hvaring's Avatar
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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    Nuts and Bolts from the Digital Journlist July 2008.

    "And, since we are on a negative note, let me say how sad I am that this digital rangefinder is so expensive that many young photojournalists will never get to play with the kind of camera that Cartier-Bresson, Gene Smith and a host of other heroes got to play with."
    I doubt it. At the time when Cartier- Bresson bought his Leica, good cameras were quite expensive, and Leica was the most expensive of them all. Considering current wages/buying power, I hardly think a M8 is more expensive today than a M3 was in the fifties. Besides I think we today have alternatives that are better or equal at much more reasonable prices.

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    Workshop Member MikeScecina's Avatar
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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    Well, unless their daddies were rich I don't believe young photojournalists have ever been able to play with the state of the art rangefinder.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    1965 used M3 with 50mm 'Cron 175 dollars.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    John, I've got to agree. Leica's were NEVER cheap. Nor should they be, in my opinion. Any young photojournalist worth his or her salt has got to really want to shoot the best they possibly can, to save up what it takes to join the ranks of the elite. You've got to EARN your right to use a Leica well. Lots of folks can manage the money, but they also need to manage the camera after making that considerable investment. So as always, the cream once again rises to the top..... When I bought my first Leica, my own skills were far short of the capabilities of the camera. After almost nine years now, I think I am finally at the skill level with it where I feel almost comfortable that I have started to master it. The M is a tough mistress, but once you can make her dance and swing, she is the only thing to have.... <Grin>.

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    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    Rollei's, Leica's, Hasselblad and Linhoff were never cheap but before digital you could use the same camera for 50 years and there was a vast used market as the stuff lasted forever. Photographers should not be "aspiring" to own some brand of camera they should be aspiring to produce good work which you can do with a sub $1,000 prosumer DSLR if that's all you can afford.

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    nei1
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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    You look through a hole,you press a button;the rest is near to nonsense...........Lifetime leica user slowly but surely getting fed-up with the nonsense.

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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    I think that Bill Pierce has written a great article. I have had 3 M8's and I don't trust them fully either. But I love to shoot with them when the situation is right, and when I want raw files. DR

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    When I got my first real job in 1970 .....I was paid twice a month. With my first check I bought a Rolex watch(a gold one and stainless with a strap) and with my 2nd I drove 400 miles and bought a black paint M4. They cost about the same and I had nothing left over. So just out of college with maybe a months salary to my name and no credit and a beater VW ...I bet the bank. Purchases of an M have always been somewhat emotional irrational expenditures. I still have both the watch and the M4. Unfortunately the digital model voids the life time ownership perspective.

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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    I'm on my second M8 body, only since the first one had to go back for the upgrade when it first came out. My M8 followed a line beginning with two M6 bodies, then M6TTL, then M7 and finally now just my trusty M8, as film processing availability (AND lack of film!) forced that decision living for over seven years in Mexico, I am now all digital pretty much in my workflow. I loved every one of my M cameras, and even with it's few quirks out of the gate, my M8's. I've shot several thousands of images with the digitals, and they have never let me down. What more can a photographer ask for, really? There is no other digital camera that I could have used to capture many of the images I have with my Leicas. None. So given everything I have in my present archives, I would have to say that I am more than pleased. It is an investment that continues to produce revenue for me, and I would imagine will continue to do so for many years to come.

    It is easy to be critical of Leica, and the M8. Please don't get me wrong, Leica could have done a better job in several regards with the M8 launch, as well as been more responsive getting the problems and service issues resolved more quickly. But having shot several "new" camera bodies & lenses over my lifetime, they ALL had their initial problems. I could tell you horror stories about my original Nikon D1x or my old Canon 1Ds with it's multiple trips back to Canon service from Mexico without ever resolving the issues while it was still in warranty. I have, and still do shoot in some pretty rough environments for any camera gear. The M8 is always my "go to" camera of choice for my work, just as the film versions were before them. So like my other Leica bodies of years past, I DO expect my digital Leicas to be a "lifetime" ownership to my perspective!

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    Re: Bill Pierce reflects on the M8

    Any young photojournalist worth his or her salt has got to really want to shoot the best they possibly can, to save up what it takes to join the ranks of the elite.
    I'm a long-time Leica owner, but

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